Last-minute glitch delays opening
of child care centers
J. Fitzgibbons, Chronicle staff
Jacques of RAC Builders of Agawam installs a new door at Farley
(Stan Sherer photo)
scheduled Sept. 5 reopening of two campus child care facilities
may be delayed for nearly a week after to allow the installation
of additional equipment for an automated fire alarm system.
After learning of the
setback, University Child Care staff this week informed families
that Farley and Bowditch lodges may not open until Sept. 11, six
days after the target date. The delay will not affect the toddler
classrooms, which are housed in a separate structure.
The summer-long renovation
of the two buildings, which house the Grass Roots and New World
child care programs, went smoothly all summer despite some minor
weather-related delays, according to UCC director Maryanne Gallagher.
But a test last week
of an automated fire alarm notification system in another campus
building failed due to a faulty connection at the UMass Police station
in Dickinson Hall. The system failure prompted Facilities Planning
staff to order improvements, said Gallagher.
"Because of this
malfunction, additional equipment must be installed to provide a
trouble-free connection," said a UCC advisory distributed to
parents this week.
Since installation of the new equipment
is expected to take about a week, fire and building inspections
required for child care licensing will be delayed until the work
is completed, according to Gallagher.
The likelihood of some
glitch holding up opening was not unexpected, according to the notice
circulated this week.
of a delayed opening has been shared with parents since last February
during the planning phase of this project," said the advisory.
"Throughout the project Facilities Planning staff and the contractor
have worked diligently to do everything possible to complete this
project on time. Facilities Planning staff have also shared realistic
expectations that, given the nature of renovation work, until the
project is complete they could not guarantee a completion date."
Meanwhile, UCC staff
have been readying classrooms while contractors finish the renovations.
Parent-child visits were scheduled to go ahead as scheduled this
week, according to the UCC advisory.
Announced last spring,
the overhaul of the two buildings is intended to bring the two structures
into compliance with building and safety codes for child care facilities.
The cost of the project is $299,300, according to Facilities Planning.